Pat Calvert Greenhouse
Season: Year Round
Purchase plants at the Arboretum Shop
Open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Occasionally open on weekend days; call 206-543-8800 to confirm.)
Tuesdays and Thursdays
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Pat Calvert Greenhouse sells young trees (including conifers), shrubs, perennials, and bonzai starts grown from seeds or cuttings taken primarily from the Arboretum collection plants. Volunteers are present on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to help with plant selection; however, visitors are welcome to browse the greenhouse selection any day of the week and purchase plants at the Arboretum Shop (see above for shop hours).
Location: Just south of the big greenhouse, adjacent the Graham Visitors Center parking lot.
Interested in Volunteering?
History of the Greenhouse
“In 1958, Mrs. Frank [Patricia] Calvert, attended a summer class on propagation of woody plant materials taught by Mr. Lawrence Michaud, the nursery foreman at the Arboretum. Inspired to create a space for members of Arboretum units to do their own propagation, and in her second year as the chairman of the Unit Council, she decided to take this idea to the University of Washington and the Arboretum. Ever-Green House Inc. was contracted to build this unusual greenhouse, unusual in that it was to be operated completely by women volunteers without professional help. Once the construction specifications and costs were approved work began and the greenhouse was completed in early July, 1959. Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Frank Dupar, chairman of the greenhouse committee, internal greenhouse features such as graveled benches and cabinets in the potting room were completed not long after.
Groups at random began working in the greenhouse but it became apparent that someone needed to take charge of the propagation and direction of volunteers. Through the efforts of members of the Unit Council, volunteers were recruited that could both supervise and volunteer. A specific day was needed that folks could regularly meet, initially to avoid conflict with education classes and other Units wishing to use the greenhouse as well and Tuesday was selected.”
– From How Green Is Our Greenhouse, by Betty Gray (Arboretum Bulletin, Fall 1961)
“The first greenhouse chairman, Mrs. Conner Gray is to be given a great deal of credit for nurturing the greenhouse through its first year. Referring to the women working at the Patricia Calvert Greenhouse as ‘Greenhouse Girls’, Mrs. H. Martin Smith, Jr. said that ‘a love of plant materials gives them all a common bond – to say nothing of the ruined manicures.’”
– From Get up and Grow, by Mrs. H. Martin Smith, Jr. (Arboretum Bulletin, Spring 1970)